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Masutha to study Derby-Lewis parole decision

Clive Derby-Lewis supplied the firearm that was used to kill SACP leader Chris Hani in 1993.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Michael Masutha will now study the judgment which set aside his ruling in January not to grant Clive Derby-Lewis medical parole.

Judge Selby Baqwa ruled this morning that Masutha's decision not to grant medical parole to Derby-Lewis was unfair.

Derby-Lewis supplied the firearm that was used to kill SACP leader Chris Hani in 1993.

The 79-year-old received the death sentence which was then converted to life in prison in 2000.

After serving almost 22 years behind bars and having five applications for normal and medical parole turned down, Derby Lewis is now allowed to go home.

But his doctors say they don't want to risk his life as he is still in hospital receiving treatment for cancer.

The Justice Department's Mthunzi Mhaga says they are still deciding whether they should appeal the ruling.

"With our legal team we are going to determine if there are valid grounds upon which we can make an appeal, but of importance to us is the fact that nowhere in the judgement does he say the minister's decision was irrational."

The minister, with the advisory board, has to determine the medical parole conditions within a week.

"Further delay would cause unjustifiable prejudice to the applicant whose life is already precariously poised according to the medical evidence presented in this application," said Baqwa.

Baqwa emphasised that two independent doctors had reached the conclusion that Derby-Lewis had until the end of July to live as he suffers from terminal cancer which is spreading rapidly.

He said the court could not take that risk as it was unclear how long he would live.